One of the Planning Department’s primary responsibilities is to coordinate the Planning Board’s development review processes (e.g., site plan review, special permit, subdivision), through which the Board evaluates and ultimately approves or denies development proposals using local and state regulatory frameworks. Coordination includes several facets, ranging from the receipt and processing of development applications to the arrangement of application peer reviews by third-party engineers to meeting scheduling. The Department is also responsible for ensuring that developments are constructed and that occupancy is granted according to applicable local and state regulations.
Revising and updating Ashland’s Zoning Bylaw – a vital guiding document in the Planning Board’s development review processes - is a critical responsibility of the Planning Department. The Department works closely with members of the Board, Town Counsel, and others to develop appropriate Bylaw update/revision proposals and to steer the proposals through the approval process. Additionally, the Department works to update other guiding documents, such as the local Subdivision Regulations and the Design Review Guidelines, which also guide the Board’s development review processes.